The officer, whom sources identified as Sgt. Kenneth Lunger, was providing security for Benson's popular annual Mule Days festival.
The officer was trying to break up the scuffle outside The Tar Pit, at South Wall Street and West Parrish Drive, when one man pulled a knife, according to Tammy Amaon, spokeswoman for the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.
The officer's bulletproof vest blocked most of the blow, but he was cut in the chest and arm, Amaon said. He was treated at Johnston Memorial Hospital and returned to work on Saturday, Benson Town Manager Matt Zapp said.
Christopher Blake Moore, 26, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. He was jailed on $500,000 bond.
Joshua Holt Thomas, 24, of Four Oaks, was charged with assault, and Franklin Dale Schliebener, 26, was charged with resisting arrest. Both were released without bond.
Moore spent 2½ years in prison on a manslaughter conviction and was released in April 2009.
He was originally charged with murder in the June 19, 2005, shooting death of 18-year-old Julius Anthony Lee at the Days Inn on Honeycutt Street. He was convicted of manslaughter and possession of a firearm, according to state Department of Correction records.
Moore has additional drug convictions dating from 2005 and 2002.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.